He had a wonderful defense of the ACA, pointing out the guest who recently signed up for affordable care and then a few days later had a sharp pain, which led to a surgery that would have bankrupted this particular person the week before. He pointed out that in 2014, gender discrimination, regarding the price of health insurance will end, thanks to the ACA. In Colorado, gender discrimination is already illegal, but in Wyoming, a state near and dear to my heart, but so far behind in many ways, women pay 76 to 100% more than men for health insurance. Wyoming and Arkansas lead the way in this sorry respect and in 2014 they will no longer.
Obama hit his opponents hard on many issues and, by doing so, everyone watching tonight's address got to see the tepid reaction on the right to: equal pay for women, raising the minimum wage, ending the war in Afghanistan, preventing American military intervention in Syria, making a deal with Iran to put an end to their nuclear ambitions, and to this gem, "America must move off a permanent war footing." Beautiful.
It was an oddly energizing speech. One doesn't expect much from these formalities, but sometimes something promising breaks through. Tonight that happened. Obama was only confrontational because he listed his administration's successes, those his opponents spent so much time and energy resisting without providing thorough solutions themselves.
And yet, the Republican address is given by a woman whose party didn't seem very excited at all about paying females the .23 cents on the dollar they lose to their male counterparts solely because they are female.
There is still a lot of work to do, but Obama did channel hope and promise tonight and those who stayed in their seats did not come off looking very good.